Guilty of Making Assumptions About How Much Time
It Takes To…?
“Once you have mastered time, you will understand how true it is that most people overestimate what they can accomplish in a year — and underestimate what they can achieve in a decade!” Anthony Robbins
We’ve all been guilty of second guessing how much time it should take for someone to complete a task, start a project, do the shopping, fix the car and so on. We do it in our daily lives, at work and at home, when we’re shopping and even when we are eating. We even second guess how long it takes to boil a pot of water!
Working in a virtual business partnership presents daily opportunities to second guess the amount of time needed for our partner to complete a project or get back on an issue or respond to an email or to type the document. Remember, just because one partner is working on the project, doesn’t mean that the other partner must be working on it at the same time. Schedules and priorities are different.
Avoiding second guessing will save a lot of worry and perhaps needless anger. There are as many reasons as there are personalities for one person to complete a task at a different speed than another. One person may be an expert and has done the task over and over creating an efficient routine. Handing the same task off to your VBP (virtual business partner) doesn’t mean your partner has the same expertise nor has she/he developed the routine. Although your virtual partner may know the software, the content and approach will be new. It will take your partner time to gain the same expertise. Something as simple as setting up a spreadsheet format and getting the software to do what you want may be a factor. Delays in receiving content for a project could be the result of extra time needed for thorough and complete research on the subject, others supplying parts of the project, scheduling, or editing and so on.
The worst kind of second guessing is when one person goes through the process of doing a task in his/her mind and thinks, oh, that shouldn’t take much time at all. Well, let’s see, our mind thinks at lightning speed. Try going through the task in real life…did it take a little longer? Probably.
Even though we all think at lightning speed, we all work at different speeds for different tasks, and performing the task physically is a whole different story. I type at lightning speed, but for the life of me I can’t use a 10-key by touch.
We should stop and consider that people work at different speeds and that your virtual business partner will do some tasks faster than you and perhaps other tasks slower. Ultimately you must feel confident that your business partner is working professionally, diligently and competently on your projects. That trust is essential to a successful virtual business relationship. It doesn’t hurt to send off a quick email if there seems to be delays or perceived delays…yes, back to why it is possible to work virtually…communication.
The next time you catch yourself wondering why it’s taking sooooo long, consider:
- Does your business partner speed read?
- Is this project high priority?
- Have I sent / have I received all of the necessary information?
- Is the software new?
- Does your business partner have the same expertise as you? I hope not…that’s one of the reasons you are business partners!
- What kind of problems can arise? Is it being edited by someone else.
- What are the details I’m not thinking about that are involved in the project.
- Is it an unfamiliar subject or special research?
- Have I sent an email to ask?
Next time you start to say something like, “well I could have done that in….” or “that sure took a long time” please consider the person receiving the comment – it’ll just bring up an uncomfortable situation. You can say something like, “that took a little longer than I expected, did you run into any problems?”